Bye Bye to Halloween, though there is still Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night left on the 4th.
I used up too much energy lately which has reduced me, constant shaking and yesterday carried to bed. It just is one of those things.It is frustrating to lose time, to lose energy to an invisible condition which seems to have no rules that bind it. But that is just how it is.
I have read some manga lately like Cross Game, which comes in a huge 540+ page starting volume 1, with the second volume to come out the start of January at 300+ pages. The author Mitsuru Adachi is famous for making manga interesting to both males and females, and multi-layered plots. In Cross Game, Adachi’s sports romance holds more than a sports story but about growing up, melancholy, lost love, and what is being true to love of sport.It also examines the way coaches can abuse the power they have over the young players they have entrusted to them. When one coach who cares about his winning career burns out two baseball pitches, one a girl borrowed from the girls team just in order to give his star player enough practice, it is all too recognizable.
The boy Ko, whose father has a sporting good shop lives near a family of four girls who run a batting cage entertainment facility. He hits balls there every day since the age of three as he and Wakaba, the second oldest daughter hang together. He sells the kids on creating a baseball team to increase sales for his father but doesn’t play. And Aoba, this third oldest daughter and his age doesn’t like him, envies the time and attention her sister gives him. And she has vowed she will never marry anyone unless they throw a 100 mph pitch (she is in 6th grade!).
Through an accident, Wakaba, the most popular and beautiful girl in the neighborhood can’t play with Ko anymore. And over years, the male enemies of Ko become friends of him, united by the memories of Wakaba loving the game. Ko will play with them but never on the official team. While Aoba seems to need to prove something, driving herself farther and farther into pitching as she is the pitcher of the boys junior high team.
When high school starts, two coaches and two teams occur as the principal recruits players and a coach to win and go the championship, and all others are shunted to a small half field as the ‘Farm Team’ – where any player who is injured or deemed unfit is sent. The coach of the varsity and the farm team have very different philosophies. Ko has been practicing pitching with the neighborhood lads and when the coach pulls Aoba from her team and uses her as fodder for his varsity hitters until she collapses, it sets something off in Ko (though they both protest how much Aoba and Ko dislike each other – protest too much). Can these two families, united in baseball do anything to drive out this new coach?
This manga is good value but also asks questions about choices, because results, intended or otherwise occur. Has Ko been preparing to stand up for Wakaba and Aoba, or just playing baseball? And if he does step up will it matter?
This manga has been not just a good read but a mirror to me, to reflect some questions I have faced recently both awake and asleep,the questions which ask, “What if you could have done this differently or that?” My dreams are often nightmares, or people from my past, family or friends acting as they do and did and I realize how different I am, how different this disease has made me as I drag myself with my arms in my dreams down the steps of the school while a teach orders me to ‘hurry’ as if as hard as I struggle, dragging myself, I have already failed to meet some class, test, course, event, expectation I don't even remember.
Winter is here and already several people have died, positions in various facilities are opening up. This is death’s hunting ground and I told Linda I can’t die in winter. And I won’t die in summer, because ‘I’m not suffering the pain of surviving all those heat days just to die on one of them.”
She laughed and said, “So, that leaves about two weeks in the spring.”
Me: No, I’m going to Sakura-con.
When people die, when people I know die the question comes again, “What if this had never happened to me?” And I realize, as bad as it has been for Linda, myself and others, I would have taken the ticket anyway. Of course, I never would have known what it meant, but that is part of the education and reason I would have chosen this if I had a choice. I went to university to learn things that were new, were unknown to me and to try and put them in ways that were useful to others. And to me, whether or not I could have done a better job, I did just that, made a job of trying to create a compact yet accessible text about a complicated and socially avoided topic. I tried to narrate original experiences, and some might have been TOO close, where I could not look objectively at what was occurring, but then, when you live in the pit, you tend not to write about the mountain tops.
Whatever happens, I still have choices to make, and I want to blog at least 15 times this month. But I want be at peace with where I am, that no, I haven’t had a great experience of the medical community, but then, that is not unique, but as I learned, common. It is what I have learned that is important, and what Linda has learned, who wants to do a masters in some aspect of disability and business or rights. Because once the eyes are opened you can either go back to eating flowers and calling them cake or realize that something is seriously wrong, and let the knowledge change you.
I read the romance Seven Days: Monday-Thursday (book 2 of Friday to Sunday to come). It has a boy, Seryou, who was hurt in love by a woman named Shino and so every Monday whom ever asks him first he ‘dates’ for a week before saying that ‘what he hoped wasn’t there’ – he is searching for the feeling of love.
Meanwhile Shino (a male in the grade above) who is also in the archery club has great looks but an unusual temperament, saying what he thinks but also full of fantasy and imagination. So girls want to date him based on looks and then dump him as he doesn’t live up to what they dream. Shino orders pizza and waits for it to arrive at lunch, when Seryou is dropped off late to school this Monday. Shino asks if the rumor of him dating the first person to ask is true. And Seryou says it is. They talk about how others project onto them all sorts of expectations and if love or even a relationship can occur with all of that? Then Shino asks, “So would you go out with me?” But before Seryou can answer the pizza comes. When school ends Seryou is waiting for Shino, with an umbrella, asking to walk him home. Shino reminds him that they should both be at archery practice. And it goes on, with Shino never quite sure if Seryou is joking or if they really are dating. And how far is Seryou going to take this joke (he asks a girl who went out for a week and finds out that Seryou never likes touching or allows kissing, a whew). Except that when asked who the girlfriend of the week is, Shino says, “I am” to a “Ewww” and “What a waste!” from the girls. And Seryou pays for the food and drink, and they find they get on well. Shino, by Wednesday wants to know what happens after being dumped because it would be a shame if they couldn’t be friends. A delicate story of romance where each participant thinks the other is joking…maybe, and thus pushes things further, the way that happens when it isn’t ‘serious’, right until it becomes serious. Though in the new small size from DMP, I recommend this non-explicit light romance, where boys act like lonely guys who are perhaps a bit too sensitive, too many walls but wanting to be cared about. The author takes 200 pages to develop just the first half of the week and the time spent with each other at lunch, at archery, and after school.
For me, the book says that it is better to take risks, even risks that maybe society or some people don’t like, than close the self off to feeling at all. Being open to hurt means that hurt will occur, but so can hope, and joy. Sometime recently someone said to me, “Look a rainbow” and there was one. I had not chased everyone away who could reach my heart. Blogging, comments, being public in what happens to me has a lot of painful experiences with it, still lots of negative comments, and the blogs about the most sensitive or painful subjects always get a ‘funny’ click right away. Someone watching me struggle to write about pain or dementia and marking it as funny is like an invisible arrow hitting the chest. But then, without risk, there would be uplift; if I shut myself off due to emotional hurt, believing that people can only be cruel then I miss the times where they surpass their own expectations into magnificence.
I am lonely because the more I try, the more mistakes I make, the more I seem to live a life solitary in experience. But Seryou risked a relationship every week, trying as hard as possible, to see if there could be more. That is what I get from manga, that collection of friends and experiences, fictional or otherwise to imbue me with the courage to keep trying.
I don’t know what is ahead. I expect that the future will hold emotional and physical loss and sorrow. But I got a package of a little trick or treat bag, as someone thought about me, and knew that I wouldn’t be able to go out – but also somehow knew that I would want to. I got a package that showed me pictures and a letter, of a place and a time unimagined, and jam from places far away.So while I expect that this will be a stormy time ahead, that there will be parts and pockets of joy.
2 hours ago